Long day's journey
Mr. Thompson's "Editor's Note" and Mr. Moore's article "All Aboard" failed to mention a couple of key points about traveling on Amtrak (HCN, 2/02/09).
Although Mr. Thompson and his family paid for berths when they took the train, most Americans who take Amtrak travel in coach class. With children's tickets at half price, the journey is not a slow, expensive vacation for these travelers but a cheap way to move a family from Point A to Point B. And while I could tell story after story about my own experiences with Amtrak's "legendary slowness," train service in America won't improve dramatically unless more of us ride the trains. Summer is a busy season for Amtrak but many trains rattle along with rows of empty seats during the rest of the year.
Rather than experiencing a long train journey as a waste of time, we can view it as a chance to step out of the usual frantic pace of our lives. Look out the window. Nap. Read a book. There's no hurry; we won't be getting anywhere soon.
Colton, New York